constitutional government

Family Foundation Action Report Cards Due Out Soon: See How Your Legislators Voted, Order For Free To Distribute

It won't be long before school is out and students will receive their final grades. Our sister organization, The Family Foundation Action, is preparing to issue its own grade report — its 2010-2011 Virginia General Assembly Report Card. This bi-annual compilation grades all senators and delegates in the General Assembly on their pro-family voting record over a full two-year General Assembly cycle, and is released to coincide with the next General Assembly election, which is this November. It provides voters every legislator's voting record on issues relating to life, marriage, religious liberty, parental authority and constitutional government based on a wide range of key bills and Family Foundation priority legislation. The Report Card has become a favorite of individuals and churches across Virginia and is one of the commonwealth's most anticipated political documents and will be available by mid-May. They will be available to order free of charge for distribution at churches, schools or community groups. To be among the first in the state to receive the Report Card, click here to go to our order page, complete the form and they will be sent to you directly from the printer. Please consider placing your order before May 15 to ensure you receive your Report Cards in a timely manner. This also helps The Family Foundation Action by allowing it to prepare for Winning Matters 2011 (more on that in a future post) rather than the fulfillment and shipping of hundreds of orders.

This is another critical election year in Virginia, as all 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for election. It will be the first time in four years (when it elected a new majority) that the Virginia Senate has faced the voters, giving Virginians the opportunity to determine whether or not they like the direction the state Senate has taken since 2007.

Our Founding Fathers knew that an educated electorate was essential to good government. This has never been truer than it is today. Be sure to order enough Report Cards to have some extra for your friends, family and work associates.

Thanks To Our 25th Anniversary Gala Sponsors!

This year marks The Family Foundation's 25th anniversary. That's 25 years of standing up in the public square for life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious freedom. We could not have made it this far, or realized the successes we've seen, without the faithful support of our partners. For that reason, we want to express our special appreciation for all of our 25th Anniversary Gala sponsors. Through their generosity, the following individuals, families, elected officials and businesses have allowed us not only to commemorate this special milestone, but also ensure that we retain our position as the Commonwealth's leading voice for traditional values.

Thank You!

It’s not too late to add your name to this list or to purchase individual or couples tickets. Please visit our Gala Web page here or call The Family Foundation at 804-343-0010. Space in the Gala program to advertise your business or recognize The Family Foundation's 25th anniversary also remains available.

Special thanks to our 25th Anniversary Gala sponsors and patrons:

Silver

Anonymous * Tom and Nancy Chewning * Ruble and Sharon Hord * Scott and Teri Rigell * John and Margaret Whitlock

Five Star

Governor Bob McDonnell * John and Shirley Seibert * Rick and Sherry Sharp * The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia * James Wynne

Four Star

Barrett Capital Management, LLC * Congressman Eric Cantor * Steve and Renee Hupp * Chris and Marilyn Meyer * Ken and Linda Newsome * Jonathan and Milby West * Scott and Amy Ziegler

Three Star

Anonymous (2) * David and Kay Barrett * Mack and Gay Bass * Birthmother Ministries, Inc. (Birthmothers ®) * Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling * Morton and Helen Blackwell * Wendell and Alice Brown * Bruce and Karlynn Bucher * Donelson Caffery and Angela Wiggins * ccAdvertising * Delegate Ben and Elizabeth Cline * Mike and Phyllis Cobb * Pastor Bob Collins * Rick and Nancy Collins * Tim and Hunter Cook * Alex Cooke * Carlo and Heather Cordasco * Robert and Kathie Cox * Jim and Suzanne Curran and Daryl and Tara Bowman * John and Rebecca Disosway * The Honorable Doug and Jean Domenech * Equity Concepts, LLC * Eternity Anglican Church * Ty and Margy Fabling and Toni and Carla Williams * Faith Baptist Church (Prince George County) * Bob and Susan Fitch * Bruce and Donna Folkes * Home School Legal Defense Association * David and Marcy Kozlowski * John and Suzanne Kuta * Delegate Jimmie and Elizabeth Massie * Fred and Anne McCormick * Michael and Kris McMunn * The Steve Morales Family * National Church Purchasing Group * National Institute of Family and Life Advocates * Mac and Lorna Nichols * Delegate John and Honorable Pat O’Bannon * Barry and Linda Oxford * G.F. (Penn) and Lynn Pendleton * Chris and Billie Jean Pickford * PODS — Portable on Demand Storage * The Rappahannock Region Family Forum * The Honorable Jack and Judi Reid * Religious Freedom Coalition * John and Susan Robinson * Phil and Rachel Rohrer * Eric and Tammy Samuelson * Rick Schofield (2) * Randy and Sharon Secrist * Paul and Lorna Swenson * Thomas Road Baptist Church * Lindsay Trittipoe * Todd and Jill Vander Pol and Family * Virginia Christian Alliance * Delegate Lee Ware * The Wilkes Family * A.C. and Lucy Wilson and Bob and Pat Wilson * Congressman Rob Wittman * David and Stephanie Wyman

Two Star

Melvin Adams * K. Bakeer Al-Mateen * Margaret Barbee * Dan and Janis Carrell * Delegate Barbara Comstock * Delegate Kirk and Julie Cox * Bob and Rose Follett * Congressman Bob Goodlatte * Louis and Phyllis Heacock * Speaker Bill and Cessie Howell * Senator Ryan McDougle * Bill and Hope McRorie * Senator Tommy Norment * S. Ronald Owens * Randy and Clay Reynolds * Delegate Roxann Robinson * Mike and Elizabeth Smith * Ashley and Gail Taylor * Senator Jill and Alex Vogel

One Star

Jim and Betsy Beamer * Dick Black for Senate * Peter and Mary Ana Broadbent * Marilyn Brooks * Delegate Kathy Byron * Delegate Bill and Paula Carrico * Charlie and Shirley Cheek * Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Richmond * Delegate Mark and Genia Cole * Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli * Jasen and Christy Eige * Delegate Scott and Whitney Garrett * Shaun Griffin * The Honorable John Hager * Thomas and Jennifer Hanrahan * Jim Hinish * Steve Hunt for Senate * The Kincaid Family * Delegate Manoli and Hyde Loupassi * John Luck Renovations * Gary and Aimee Marx * McLaughlin & Associates * Stu and Laura Mendelsohn * Tom and Donna Morr * Linda Nash * Christopher and Jennifer Nolen * Delegate Glenn Oder * Arne and Arlene Owens * Patricia Phillips for Senate * Delegate Brenda and Roger Pogge * Delegate Charles and Janet Poindexter * Jack and Diana Robinson * Senator Frank Ruff * The Honorable Eva and Leander Scott * Galen and Janet Simmons * Van and Phyllis Stephenson * John and Margaret Thompson * Wendell and Patsy Walker

Newly Released Family Foundation 2010 General Assembly Report Available Online

Each year, The Family Foundation compiles a General Assembly report — essentially a storybook retelling of the past session along with Family Foundation commentary and insider information, based on the hard work of our lobbyists and the insights they gained through legislative interaction and contacts. Now, fresh off the press, is our 2010 report, entitled Expect The Unexpected. We hope you take the opportunity to read this uniquely  insightful, thorough and well put together review of this year's legislative session. It is available for you to read by clicking here. In addition, this year's report has an exciting new feature: When you click on certain pictures, you will be redirected to our YouTube channel where you can view video of the corresponding committee hearings, Family Foundation television interviews, candidate campaign promises, and more. This report, in combination with related videos, will give you a insider's look at what happened this past session so that you can better understand what effect it will have on you and pro-family citizens of Virginia. Combined, the print and video provides an interactive and in-depth coverage and review of session unlike any public policy organization in Virginia.

If you like what you see, then don't forget that we compile and convey information about the General Assembly as events happen at the capitol each session, so please follow us on the social networking sites YouTube, Twitter and Facebook; and subscribe to our blog's RSS Feed as well as our e-mail alerts. Additionally, today we added to this site links to several studies and position papers we've written or commissioned in recent years, giving you full access to research and information you can use to make the case for traditional values and constitutional government in the public square. Look in the right margin for the heading Family Foundation Publications & Position Papers.

In days past, session intrigue was oblique, at best. No longer. Wait until 6:00 to see the video on the local news — or the next morning's paper? If they cover session at all, will they report on the committees and votes you care about? Even then, will it be accurate? Or fair? Will they have the level of detail and behind the scenes information we get working in the trenches, previously obscured from the public? The Internet allows us to be the media ourselves and report on the actions of our lawmakers. We now can multiply our reach and arm more people with more information, which helps advance our shared the principles that much quicker.

To order a hard copy of Expect the Unexpected, send $3.00 (cash or check) to cover printing and shipping expenses to The Family Foundation at 830 East Main Street, Suite 1201, Richmond, VA 23219 (write "2010 GA Report" in the memo line or include a note). Alternatively, you can pay online by credit card by clicking here. (Be sure to type "2010 GA Report" in the box entitled "How did you find out about The Family Foundation?") We hope you forward this link and spread the word to people interested in staying informed on the important issues confronting Virginia and the culture at large.

Concerned About The Culture? Government Policies? The Direction Of Our Country? Here's What You Can Do!

Do you see things happening in our culture, government and even in the Christian community that concern you? Do you want to make a difference, but don't know where to begin? You can start by volunteering at The Family Foundation this summer. Since 1985, The Family Foundation has been at the forefront of critical public policy debates, helping Virginia citizens, lawmakers and business leaders better understand and apply to law the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty. We are currently holding several Truth Project training sessions across Virginia to affect the hearts and minds in our culture and in the Christian community.

Non-profit and non-partisan, The Family Foundation of Virginia is the commonwealth's oldest and most influential family public policy organization. Our mission is to strengthen the family through accurate research and education, prompting civic activism and affecting public policy outcomes. The Family Foundation is proud to be associated with Focus on the Family and its network of nearly40 independent state policy councils.

Any college, high school or home schooled student looking to fulfill community service requirements for graduation or who would enjoy assisting us in our mission on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis — we can use your help this summer (and beyond)! In fact, entire families, including  middle school students, provide great help to us regularly. If you are interested in public policy and the issues of the day that directly affect our culture, lives and values, then you will enjoy and be fulfilled by contributing your time to our shared cause.  

The Family Foundation headquarters is located across from the State Capitol in downtown Richmond. Parking is located only a few blocks from our office building and we can assist you with your parking fees in specific garages.

Responsibilities and duties include:

» Data Entry (basic computer skills, in office or at home);

» Mailings (production and processing);

» Database Management (basic computer skills); and

» Constituent Interaction.

If you are interested in volunteering your valued talent in order to advance the cause of traditional values in the Commonwealth, then please take a moment to e-mail Marie Edwards at marie@familyfoundation.org or call her at (804) 343-0010. Thanks!

Quote Of The Day: From Today And Years Ago

Session hasn't started yet and already we have a Quote of the Day. However, it comes as no surprise as today is the second Tuesday of the month which means it's Tuesday Morning Group Coalition meeting day. TMG President and dear friend John Taylor supplies it, and it wins not only for its self-deprecating humor, but because it mentions . . . us! At downtown Richmond's Bull & Bear Club, high atop the James Center in the capital's financial district, Taylor, whose sense of humor is matched only by his assured and ready opinions on constitutional government (see his Tea Party speech), recounted a story relevant to a recent cabinet appointment by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell. But first, the punchline:

Years ago the Family Foundation sponsored a conference on education. ... They asked me to moderate a panel — mainly because they didn't want me to speak!

Now, about that story: On the panel that Taylor moderated was none other than Senator Henry Marsh (D-16, Richmond), one of the General Assembly's most obstinate liberal reform obstructionists on education as well as other issues. Marsh, who is black, outrageously said that after all the hardships to desegregate public schools, the school choice and charter school movement was the effort to re-segregate public schools. After he finished his demagoguery, a young black man on the panel, of whom Taylor was not familiar, stood up and said, (from Tertium Quids):

Where once George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway to keep black kids out, some politicians (like Marsh) were now standing in the doorway to keep them from leaving.

Marsh left the meeting very soon afterwards.

That young man was Gerard Robinson, nominated yesterday by Governor-elect McDonnell to be Secretary of Education (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot). Come to think of it, even though it was years ago, Secretary Robinson's remark to Senator Marsh, makes a dynamite QOD. Sorry, John.

PFFV Announces "Winning Matters 2009" Events Across Virginia

Last week we, and our sister organization, Family Foundation Action announced the "Winning Matters" campaign that will register to vote people who believe in Biblical and traditional values. Since Virginia is one of only two states holding statewide elections this year, our decisions will be intently watched across the country. So voting with an informed conscience is especially inportant. The four point Winning Matters plan includes: 1. Identifying more Virginians who share our values;

2. Turning concerned citizens into values voting Virginians by registering them to vote;

3. Educating newly and previously registered voters on the differences between candidates on matters of life, marriage, parental authority, religious liberty and constitutional government; and

4. Motivating and mobilizing these informed voters to make a wise choice and to vote on election day.

In addition, Pastors For Family Values has launched its own Winning Matters 2009 Campaign. PFFV is not interested in which party wins, but rather that Biblical values are victorious when people make their way to the polls this November. So, Pastors For Family Values will travel the Commonwealth this summer holding various pastors events designed to educate, empower and encourage pastors to use the influence they have to continue to hold up Biblical values in their congregations and communities.

These events will feature outstanding, nationally known speakers and provide real tools, such as voter registration kits, TFF Action General Assembly Report Cards and voter guides. All events are free of charge.

Pastors For Family Values Winning Matters 2009 Pastors Events

» Roanoke: June 26, Golden Corral, 8-10:00 a.m.

Speakers: Pastor Rick Scarborough, Ph.D., of Vision America; and Mat Staver, Dean, Liberty University School of Law

* * * * *

» Harrisonburg: July 7, Shoney's, 8-9:30 a.m.

Speakers: Local pastors reporting on the recent Watchman on the Wall Conference; and Mickey Mixon, Area Coordinator Winning Matters 2009 Campaign

* * * * *

» Fredericksburg: August 4, Fredericksburg Expo and Convention Center (tentative), 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Speakers: Jonathan Falwell, Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church; and Bishop Harry Jackson, Pastor, Hope Christian Church, Washington, D.C.

* * * * *

» Richmond: July 23, Wyndham Hotel, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Speaker: Bishop Harry Jackson

* * * * *

» Norfolk: August 20, Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Speaker: Pastor Rick Scarborough

If you are a pastor, please mark your calendar and be sure to make it to at least one of these great events. You won't be disappointed. If you are not a pastor, please bring this schedule of events to your pastor's attention and encourage him to attend. To RSVP for any of these events, or for more information, call (804) 343-0010.

Calling Homeschool Families: Want To Make A Difference?

We always have volunteer opportunities and, for homeschool families, we have a great one helping us run our booth at the HEAV Homeschool Convention, from Thursday, June 11 through Saturday, June 13.  The HEAV Convention booth hours are as follows:

5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11

9:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 12

9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Saturday June 13 

Responsibilities and duties of volunteers:                                                               

  • Distributing General Assembly Report Cards.
  • Assist in non-partisan Voter Registration.
  • Obtain contact information from homeschool families.
  • We request a two-hour (or longer) shift.

If you are interested in volunteering your valued talent in order to advance the cause of traditional values in the Commonwealth, then please take a moment to e-mail Vanessa Strait vanessa.strait@tffaction.org or call her at (804) 343-0010.

This year's statewide elections (for governor lieutennant governor, attorney general and House of Delegates) will receive unprecedented national media attention. The Family Foundation is committed to its long-standing (since 1985) non-partisan leadership role of shaping critical public policy debates to help Virginia citizens, lawmakers and business leaders better understand and apply to law the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty. Throughout the summer and fall we will have other volunteer opportunities for citizens who believe in standing firm for traditional values. Stay tuned.

TFF Action Releases Report Card Tomorrow

Tomorrow, at a  1:30 p.m. Capitol Square news conference, TFF Action will release its 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card (click here for  information on obtaining it). The TFF Action Report Card is released every two years and rates all 140 members of the General Assembly on their voting record on five principles: Life, Traditional Marriage, Religious Liberty, Parental Authority and Constitutional Government.  Who will rate high? Who will rate low? Will there be any surprises? Do you want to know if your delegate and senator tell you one thing, but vote another way? Or, is their rhetoric consistent with their voting record (either liberal or conservative)? Logon here tomorrow (as well as Twitter) for coverage, and later here and on our YouTube channel for video.

We're Looking For More Than A Few Good People

Since 1985, The Family Foundation has been on the forefront of critical public policy debates helping Virginia citizens, lawmakers and business leaders better understand and apply to law the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty. Non-profit and non-partisan, we are the Commonwealth's oldest and most influential family public policy organization. Our mission is to strengthen the family through accurate research and education, prompting civic activism and affecting public policy outcomes. The Family Foundation of Virginia is proud to be associated with Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family and its network of nearly forty independent state policy councils.

The entire country is focused on Virginia this year. Other than New Jersey, we are the only state that has statewide elections (for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and the entire House of Delegates). We will need ongoing assistance so we can distribute our 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card (to be made public within a couple of weeks) and other materials to help educate Christians and churches around the Commonwealth regarding the principles each candidate represents during this November's elections. While candidates campaign for votes, we will educate citizens on the principles these numerous  individuals represent.

To pull this off, we need you! We have various needs that can be fulfilled by middle school, high school (homeschoolers welcome!) or college students. These activities are perfect to meet community service requirements for graduation or for adults (such as retirees or stay-at-home-parents) who would enjoy assisting us in our mission. We can use help on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis. Our headquarters is located across from the Capitol Square in downtown Richmond and we there is convenient parking. 

Some of the areas where we can use help include data entry and data base managment (basic computer skills) in office or at home; mailings (production and stuffing); and distributing General Assembly Report Cards and other items to churches. 

If interested in volunteering your valued talent in order to advance the cause of traditional values in the Commonwealth, then please contact Marie Edwards at marie@familyfoundation.org or call her at (804) 343-0010.

During this crucial time in our Commonwealth's and nation's history, we believe it is more important than ever to do whatever possible to secure the traditional values we hold dear and precious, while they are under heavy assault. Please consider helping us with what will be a rewarding experience.

Fred Thompson Endorses Cuccinelli

Today, former United States Senator, and former presidential candidate, Fred Thompson, endorsed Virginia Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) for the Republican nomination for attorney general. Previously, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckaby, who also ran for president in 2008, endorsed Cuccinelli. Interestingly, it was the Tennessean, Thompson, who harshly went after Huckabee when the latter first gained traction as an upper tier candidate early in the 2008 Republican presidential primary season. An excerpt from Thompson's statement:

 "...one candidate stands out as the person dedicated to the First Principles on which our nation was founded. That candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, is the best choice for all citizens of Virginia to serve as the chief legal authority for the coming four years.

"At a time in our nation when fundamental, Constitutional rights and protections are often ignored and twisted theories are contrived to circumvent the clear mandates of our founding documents, Virginia needs an Attorney General grounded in his faith and adherence to the core principles.  Ken Cuccinelli is the person best suited to accomplish this for Virginia.

"We at FredPAC strongly endorse Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General and urge all Virginians, regardless of Party or political persuasion, who value individual liberty and constitutional government to support his campaign."

Former U.S. Attorney for Virginia's Western District John Brownlee and former Arlington School Board member Dave Foster also are seeking the Republican 2009 nomination for attorney general. Last week, former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore endorsed Brownlee, while former Bush Administration Solicitor General Ted Olson has endorsed Foster.

General Assembly Recap: Success On The Fly And In The Plan

It's hard to believe the 2009 General Assembly is over. It seems like it was just yesterday that we red flagged HB 1671 and SB 1094 (the "blight bills") and "created controversy," (according to the big-government types who said we shouldn't be involved). But we got the two bills amended to where they won't affect property rights. It was an improv act, to be sure, but that type of nimbleness is needed during session because rarely does anything go to plan.  We had many other important victories in both chambers and some good  legislation is on its way to the governor's desk — unlike the above, legislation we either initiated or supported from before session. Only 46 days ago these victories were mere drafts of bills on the desks of lawmakers. Through the Family Foundation's advocacy, and legislator contact from concerned citizens, many pro-family bills passed both chambers — some even with unanimous or nearly unanimous votes. But even that doesn't make it easy (see why here).

We have five core principles upon which we advocate in the legislature: Life, Marriage, Religious Liberty, Constitutional Government and Parental Authority. To put our 2009 victories in perspective, we received major victories on four priority bills reflective in five of those principles:

While we are pleased with the successes we had this year we understand that there are still many obstacles to make Virginia more family friendly, including an upcoming veto session in which we may see a veto threat against the Choose Life license plates. So, while the 2009 General Assembly is for the most part over, and we prepare for veto session, we are already working on our plans for 2010.

We thank each of you who took the time to contact your legislators during this past session. Our e-mail alert system generated nearly 25,000 e-mails to legislators this year! Your action does make a difference and, we at The Family Foundation, always are encouraged by your response. Additionally, we enjoyed bringing the General Assembly to you via video on this blog and our YouTube page. We had more unique visitors in the 28 days of February than in the 31 of January!

We also offer our humblest thanks for allowing us to represent you in the General Assembly. We take the responsibility very seriously and look forward, with your help, to continued success.

* + @ & ODBA

If you've glanced at our extensive blogroll since yesterday you will have noticed some funky symbols for the sites listed at the top. There's a reason for this. For some reason our WordPress program won't let us breakup the many linked blogs into categories. Ideally, we'd have categories for state political blogs, blogs by media outlets, etc. Since we wanted to add some new blogs and Web sites from affiliated organizations, we had to figure a way to group them together and highlight them. WordPress only lets us list by alphabetical order, so designating them with symbols was the only method to keep them grouped together; the symbols also supercede the alphabet, so that also highlights them. Until we figure out how to work around the category limitation, this will have to suffice. Here's how to decipher the secret code: We have our own Internet presence with The Family Foundation of Virginia and Family Foundation Action Web sites. They are at the top of the blogroll with an asterisk.

Those with a + is a Family Foundation of Virginia state affiliate or chapter; following them with an @ is a national organization with which we have an affiliation of some type. The former are The Fairfax Family Forum and The Valley Family Forum. The latter consist of: Alliance Defense Fund,  American Family AssociationCitizen Magazine, Citizen Link, Citizen Link Take Action, Focus On The FamilyFocus Action, Family Research Council, FRC Action and FRC Blog. All of these are excellent resources for news, issues education, research and citizen action. We hope you visit all of them often.

About those initials — ODBA: We are very pleased to announce that we now are included in the Old Dominion Blog Alliance — or at least its site. The ODBA is the outstanding confederation of conservative Virginia bloggers. We haven't heard anything official but noticed our posts popping up on its site, which is an aggregator, and our link is on its blogroll. We're very proud and honored to be included with some of the best minds and commentators in Virginia's highly respected blogosphere. We added the ODBA site to our blogroll and have had almost all of its members on our blogroll since we created it.

Membership in the ODBA means (we think) the inclusion on all its many members' blogrolls in addition to the ODBA site. So we look forward to the expanded Internet presence such inclusion entails, which will result in yet more visitors to our already highly trafficked blog. If you've found us through the ODBA, welcome, and we hope you come back often.

Previously, we were included on Righty Blogs Virginia, also an aggregator. Aggregators post a member blog's most recent posts on its site practically in real time. They're a kind of central meeting point for readers and clearing house of current opinion and comment. We hope you visit both ODBA and RBV often to get the latest from the cream of Virginia's blogosphere.

We continue to add links of all sorts to make this site the best possible resource for pro-family, pro-traditional values and constitutional government comment, information and citizen action. We offer our warmest thanks for your continued readership and support.

Exclusive: Three Part Interview With Chesterfield County School Board Member Omarh Rajah Begins Here Monday

Beginning Monday, we will run in three parts, an exclusive interview we conducted with Chesterfield County School Board member Omarh Rajah. Mr. Rajah made history with his November 2007 election victory. In his first run for office, he defeated the incumbent board chairman. He ran as a conservative in a year that was supposed to be bad for conservatives, proving that candidates who aren't afraid to stick to traditional values, sound education over cultural chic, parental involvement and sound principles of constitutional government usually win. Mr. Rajah also is the first teacher from the Matoaca District and the first African-American to be elected to the Chesterfield County School Board. The Chesterfield County Public Schools system runs 62 schools which enroll more than 58,000 students, making it one of the 100 largest school systems in the country.

Mr. Rajah holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland and a master's degree from Virginia State University in Ettrick. He is the first local government official interviewed at familyfoundationblog, but won't be the last. We will continue to spotlight successful local government officials and policy makers who are making a difference where it counts. We think you will find this interview very interesting and refreshing and hope you take the time to read it and reply with some comments.